Othello news

Kento Urano - 2022 World Champion!

4 November 2022
Written by Othello News

The 24th World Champion is Mr. Kento Urano from Tokyo, Japan.

Kento is 23 years old, and a student of Tokyo university. He started to play Othello tournaments in 2012 and has played almost 150 tournaments in the last ten years.

In 2018 at the 39th Meijin (Japanese Masters tournament), Kento finished in 4th place overall and won the "high-school category" (15-18 years old).  In March 2022, Kento won the 42nd Meijin, qualifying him on the Japanese team for the 2022 World Othello Championships in Paris.

In round 8 of the WOC, Kento played the reigning World Champion Akihiro Takahashi and won the game 37-27. They have now met seven times, and it is 4 - 3 to Akihiro Takahashi, so far.  An interesting fact is that both players won all their games against each other as Black, no wins as White. 

Kento Urano did not lose any games at the WOC. He played 17 games which included a draw against Arthur Juigner in round 4. Mr. Hideshi Tamenori also went undefeated in 1990. It doesn't happen very often, only twice so far!



Final against Arthur Juigner, Switzerland. The first game ended 45-19 in favour of Kento. The second game was very exciting. The game started with the Tiger opening. Kento got a good start and had the lead until move 20. From 24 Arthur had the advantage in the midgame. Moves 40-42 were three X-square moves in a row. At move 48 Kento had a +2 advantage and kept it to the end. 
This was an interesting game with many tricky moves from both players.


In the semi-final Kento played Katie Pihlajapuro of Finland. The first game ended 50-14 for Kento. The second game was very close and exciting. Katie had a good position all midgame and until move 46 she looked like she might find the win and force a third game. However in the endgame Kento succeeded to find a winning sequence and won by 37-27.

In round 12 Kento met Nicky van den Biggelaar from the Netherlands. It was a tight game with very few mistakes. Kento made two moves that were not perfect, and Nicky made four. An almost perfect game. High level from the start to endgame. 
The opening was a Tiger variation known as "No-Kung".
There was a very nice midgame sequence from moves 35 to 38. 
The Japan Othello team at the WOC 2022 victory dinner.
This year Japan took three of the four World Champion titles. In total three golds, one bronze and one 4th place.
Kento Urano won the World Championship and the WOC Team Championship.